This month’s Sugar High Friday is hosted by Delicious Days and the theme is canning. I enjoy canning fruit jellies and jams as well as hot pepper jelly, but this sweet pepper jelly has to be my favorite. It’s a little sweet and a little tart and has the consistency of honey, a nice combination. It makes a great party appetizer poured over a slab of cream cheese and served with wheat crackers or sliced toasted baguette, although I enjoy it for breakfast or brunch on top of english muffins smeared with cream cheese. The color of the jelly will be a nice amber with red flakes, or if you prefer you can make it bright red by adding the optional food coloring.
If this is your first experience with canning, then take the time to read about the boiling water canning method and check out the resources mentioned in the post, including the list of canning cookbooks.
Update: Check out the round up of all this month’s canned sweets at Delicious Days.
SWEET RED PEPPER JELLY
Makes about 6 half-pint jars.
sharp knife or food processor
4 quart stainless steel sauce pan
stainless steel spoon
6 to 8 jelly jars (1/2 pint size)
lids and bands
3 cups finely chopped red bell pepper (in food processor or hand-chopped)
1-1/2 cups apple cider or white vinegar
6-1/2 cups white sugar
4 ounces liquid pectin (not powdered)
10 or more drops red food coloring (optional)
1. Add the bell pepper, vinegar, and sugar to the sauce pan. Bring to a rolling boil and cook for 6 minutes, stirring constantly.
2. Stir in the liquid pectin and continue to boil for 3 more minutes, stirring constantly. Skim off the white foam with with the metal spoon, and remove the pan from the heat.
3. Ladle the jelly into the sterilized jars, leaving a 1/2-inch head space. Insert the plastic spatula next to the glass and run it carefully around the edges to help remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims clean. Seal and process in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes.